John Henry denies that Red Sox players demanded Bobby V. be fired

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Red Sox owner John Henry, who refuted the part of the report from Jeff Passan in which players specifically demanded that Bobby Valentine be fired:

“What Tom, Larry and I heard in the player meeting was one overriding sentiment. Players felt responsible for the record. They weren’t blaming injuries or anyone but themselves. At the same time they openly spoke about what could improve in addition to their play. They made substantive points. We addressed those points. No one in that meeting at any time took the position that Bobby should be or needed to be replaced.

Well, someone’s lying then, because Passan’s sources told him that players did, in fact, say they no longer wanted to play for Valentine.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth. Passan’s source has whatever his motivation is. Henry clearly has a motivation to restore some semblance or order to the proceedings.

It’s interesting, though, that Henry also spends a lot of time talking about how no one has ever revealed the substance of those sorts of meetings, which they’ve had often over the years.  Well, they’re doing it now, truthfully or otherwise, so even if his claims that all is rosy are mostly true, something is amiss, it would seem.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.